Western Ethiopia is a truly extraordinary place to visit with superb scenery and colourful culture. The Nuer people in Gambela are known by body scarification; Surma men are known by the stick fighting, called Donga.
Departure Day: Daily Guaranteed Departure with 2 participants minimum
Western Ethiopia is a truly extraordinary place to visit with superb scenery and colorful culture. The fascinating costumes, colorful ceremonies and celebrations, arts, crafts, music and dance of Gambela, and Surma people along with the natural forests in the western part will be visited. The Nuer people are known by body scarification. The Surma people are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular or rectangular clay discs inserted. Surma men are known by the stick fighting, called Donga.
I T I N E R A R Y
Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa, city tour of Addis Ababa On arrival in Addis Ababa our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfers to Ambassador Hotel. An overview of the program and itineraries will be given. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletal remains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight Jupiter International Hotel
Day 2: Nekemt After breakfast drive to Nekemte through the western direction of the country visiting the beautiful scenery and the Shoea and Wolega Oromo tribe with their village. Overnight local hotel.
Day 3: Metu After breakfast drive to Metu: after crossing Didasa River we will stop at the town of Bedele for lunch. You drive through the indigenous natural forests of Western Ethiopia and it is a good experience the life of the local people residing in the region. Overnight at local hotel. Day 4: Gambela Continue driving to Gambella via Gore. Today also you will be driving through the indigenous natural forest of Western Ethiopia. Again this place is the famous place in Tea farms. En route you will visit the Gumero tea field. Overnight Gambella Ethiopia Hotel.
Day 5: In Gambella The major two tribes living in Gambella town are the Nuer and Anuak people. Morning visit the Neuer people. In the afternoon visit The Anuak people. Overnight Gambella Ethiopia Hotel.
Day 6: Mizan Teferi Drive from Gambella to Mizan Teferi through Bebeka coffee plantation, the Ethiopia's largest old coffee plantation. On the way visit the Menit, Yem and the Dizi tribes. Over night Eden Hotel, a hotel with private toilet and clean bathroom. Day 7: Kibish Continue driving further to the west from Mizan Teferi to Kibish through Bebeka coffee plantation, the Ethiopia’s largest old coffee plantation. On the way visit the Menit tribe. After crossing the Akobo River you experience the African Savanna grass land. You will stop at the little town of Dimma for lunch. Continue driving further west to Tulgit and then to Kibish. Tulgit and Kibish are small towns of the Surma people. Much more Surma people live in Kibish town. The rest of the days walk around your campsite to visit the Surma people. Overnight camping at KIbish. (Altitude 17450m above sea level).
Day 8: Around Kibish In the morning if there is any Donga (Stick fighting of the Surma people) you will attend it otherwise you walk around the old kibish village (14kms round trip) for the visit of more of the Surma villages-to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of Surma tribe, they are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular or rectangular clay discs inserted. The Surma men are well known for their stick fighting, which is called Donga. Players are usually unmarried men. The winner is carried away on a platform of poles to a group of girls waiting at the side of the arena who decide among themselves which of them will ask for his hand in marriage. Taking part in a stick fight is considered to be more important than winning it. The men paint their bodies with a mixture of chalk and water before the fight. Overnight Camping at Kibish.
Day 9: Bebeka Drive the same way back via Dima town to Bebeka town near the town of Mizan Teferi. Overnight Bebeka Guest House
Day 10: Jimma Drive from Mizan Teferi to Jimma (240 kms) through the Ethiopia's indigenous dense forest. The people living in this area are from Kefecho, Yem and Bench ethnic groups. This place is famous in coffee, tea and spice growing region from all over the country. Overnight Welde Argi Hotel.
Day 11: Addis Ababa After breakfast drive back to Addis Ababa; En route you will Visit one of the Oromo Villages. Evening we will have a fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian restaurants for cultural dinner and dances from the different ethnic groups. Then after transfer to the airport for flight back home.
Price displayed is per person based on 2 persons travelling
Price includes: - Meet and greet at airport - All accommodation based on twin room occupancy - Meals in Addis, on bed & breakfast basis - Meals out of Addis, on full board basis including local non-alcoholic beverage - All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages. - All transfers according to the itinerary. - All Ground transportation including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver. - Professional English speaking Tour Guide accompanying through out the trip. - Cook who prepare meals while camping. - Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages - Camping gears; tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and cooking utensils for camping. - Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music; transfer & guide - A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program - Government taxes
Price doesn’t include - International flights - Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa - Alcoholic drinks - Video filming and photography fees - Incidental meals, snacks and drinks - Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc - All what is not included in the list above
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It has been too long since we wrote you to tell you how much we enjoyed our three weeks in Ethiopia last April, and how we appreciate how you contributed to the quality of our entire holiday. The Africa Guide informed and advised us, and assisted in the e-mail exchanges with Abebe when communications were poor. Abebe was most flexible in setting out the itinerary, to accommodate all our concerns and preferences. And Dawood was the perfect guide – infinitely patient, always friendly and helpful, and most knowledgeable about Ethiopian history, architecture, culture and natural wonders. The drivers, especially Yessu, who was with us most, were all excellent, as were the vehicles. Accommodation varied from reasonable to excellent (we mentioned certain minor weaknesses to Dawood and Abebe as we went along, mostly, in our opinion, due to insufficient attention to service and training of staff on the part of managers/owners).
Ethiopa is like no other country we have lived in or visited – and between us, my husband and I have covered over half the countries of Africa over our years working in cooperation for development. And yet, Ethiopia boasts the oldest known human beings, the source of the Blue Nile, the beginning of the Great Rift Valley, as well as some of the most fascinating historical and architectural monuments and diverse cultures, landscapes, vegetation and birdlife. The visits to the villages of Dorze and Konso in the South afforded us a small insight into the traditiional culture of that area and how people are adapting to change. We were amazed and enchanted by the number of birds we saw, and excited – albeit a bit alarmed—by our boat trip among the hippopotami and crocodiles on Lake Chamo. The National Museum, particularly the section on archaeology and pre-history, is a jewel in Addis Abeba. The various markets, churches and small museums we visited all contributed to give us a better feel for the country and its people. And my husband remembers his evening listening to jazz with Yessu as one of the highlights of his trip.
Overall, a memorable trip, and our congratulations, thanks and best wishes to everyone who contributed to making it unforgettable.
)ur Timkat tour was wonderful. Our dedicated driver, Abdi, and guide, Measho, took very good care of us throughout our 14-day excursion and their combined knowledge of their country and customs (Abdi is a Moslem and Measho is an Orthodox Christian) gave us a fascinating insight to ancient and modern Ethiopia. Mr. Abebe was reachable by cell phone throughout our trip and dealt swiftly and efficiently with the few glitches we encountered en route. We felt throughout that we were in safe hands.
Our overall impression of Ethiopia is that it is a very old country and very rich in culture and history. This was why we chose to travel there in the first place and we were not disappointed! We were also amazed by the beauty of the landscape – always dramatic! – and we often wondered why the “outside world” knows so little about this country and still only associates it with famine, deserts and war. The Ethiopian government and the nascent tourism industry need to do more together to promote the more positive aspects of Ethiopia via the international media. The road network in Ethiopia is being almost entirely rebuilt by the Chinese. This is a good thing as many of the roads are in a poor state of repair and for an itinerary like ours – which took us some 2000 kms around the country – can be a bit bone-shaking... Some of the hotels we stayed in need to improve their housekeeping and service standards – that is if they sincerely wish to attract upmarket, international tourists. One gets the impression that many of the hotels in Ethiopia are/were para-statal operations – poorly managed and maintained. Some have now apparently been bought over by private investors who, one hopes will inject new ideas, new standards of service and a better attitude towards customers along with new capital investment and facilities. By far the nicest hotel we stayed in en route was The Tukul in Lalibela which combines local architecture with overseas know-how – a winning combination!
What a great trip we had! . I was very pleased with the services provided. I had many questions for Abebe, and we had many emails back and forth before we arrived. Abebe answered our questions quickly and clearly.
We toured the northern part of Ethiopia, including Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum, and the southern part of Ethiopia including visits to the Arba Minch, Jinka, Turmi and Yabello. The sites we saw and the people we met were amazing.
Ethiopia is one of the most interesting countries we have visited, and we have done quite a bit of travelling over the years. Abebe and his guides and drivers were all very good at identifying the birds of Ethiopia as well, and they turned me into an avid birdwatcher!
In all our touring, Abebe ensured that we were well looked after. Our hotels were all very comfortable, our guides were very knowledgeable and fun to travel with, and our drivers drove carefully and safely. We became fans of the national dish, injera, and of course we love buna, Ethiopian coffee. We were also happy to discover that Ethiopia has delicious pasta as well!
We were 110% satisfied with our tour, and would recommend Ethiopia and this operator for anyone interested in African travel.
Five Canadians had the pleasure of taking a Nature Tour through Ethiopia organized very successfully through the operator.
Our success in seeing most of the endemic birds and mammals of Ethiopia was due mostly to the leadership of our guide and the well thought out itinerary that optimized our chances.
The drivers were excellent and patient with our demanding requests.The people, culture, history and scenery of Ethiopia are quite amazing. The memories from this trip will linger with us fo a long while.
Personally, I shall try to return to Ethiopia with another group in the future and I would recommend this tour operator to anyone that wants to see Ethiopia's fascinating Nature or Culture.
my daughter and i had an amazing and interesting time in Ethiopia, thanks to Abebe.
He took very good care of us and was a very interesting and informative guide. He was also very knowledgeable about bird-life, which is important to me and is one of ethiopias finest points. I thought Abebe was very responsible and I thought we were very lucky to have found him.
Our trip was quite varied, from cultural sites to hiking in the Simien mts. and ending w a visit to a religious festivals, and he was good humored and altogether excellent throughout.